ASC Newsletter (13-04)

In this issue #13-04:

Welcome New Hire Mona Wilkinson

Mona grew up on a farm in Northwest North Dakota and met her husband Doug while attending college in the eastern part of the state. Doug and Mona currently reside in West Fargo, North Dakota and are the parents of two grown children and grandparents to Vincent (3). Mona holds an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems from NDSCS and a BS in Accounting from Minnesota State University – Moorhead. She has earned a CRSP designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers and a QKA designation from ASPPA.

Mona and DougMona and Doug

Q: How did you come to ASC?

A: My former employer was an ASC client. While working in that position I became familiar with the products and several of ASC’s employees. When I saw a job posted to work with ASC I was really excited by the opportunity to work with a quality product, quality people and satisfied customers. I interviewed and thankfully was chosen for the position!

Q: What do you enjoy most about working for ASC?

A: I like the challenge and the diversity of my work. I also enjoy helping clients. As a former ASC client I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. I find it very gratifying to help out and to make a client’s day!

Q: What qualities in your co-workers do you appreciate most?

A: The people I work with are a very accomplished group of individuals, always willing to help, and very committed to the success of ASC and our clients. I am so grateful to work with a really great team of professionals.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: I am a big fan of the ASC product. I received firsthand knowledge of the product as a former client, and I know our product is very helpful. I find it very gratifying to work for a company that creates such a product and is able to provide a positive work environment for so many different companies and people that take care of retirement plans.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: I started my career working on the business side of radio broadcasting. After a number of changes in the radio industry I decided that I didn’t want to pursue a career in radio. So, I went back to school to obtain another degree. After finishing school, I saw an opportunity to work for a trust company, so I took the position. I have always been a “numbers cruncher” and found investments interesting. Since 1996 I have been building on that beginning and now have over 17 years in the industry.

Q: What career goal(s) are still working toward?

A: My main goal is to continually perfect my knowledge of the retirement industry and our software so as to be able to best serve our clients.

Q: What lesson have you learned on the job that you still keep with you today?

A: When I worked in radio, the music director provided an opportunity for record promoters to try to get their artist’s music on air. He would set aside 2 hours once a week for their calls. Needless to say the phones rang off the hook and many people remained on hold and many never got through. One day a very famous and successful Country Artist called in during the once a week window reserved for the record promoters to call in. She was put on hold and waited to reach the music director. She finally reached the director and informed him that she called to thank him and the station for all they did to promote her recent local concert. I learned from this that no matter who you are or how great your success a person needs to stay humble and appreciative of all the people that helped them reach their goal.

Q: What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

A: I am most proud of being able to maintain a work/life balance. I have been married for many years – I have a great husband, great kids and many nieces/nephews and great –nieces/nephews. I am very proud of the way I have been able to balance having a great career with prioritizing my family.

Q: Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?

A: My parents. They were people of solid values and strong character. They valued hard work and were grateful for what they had.

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: I really enjoy helping people. Friends often come to me for advice and to talk out life challenges. I love to listen. I am an intuitive person and enjoy to reflect on and to share helpful ideas with other people.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: We really enjoy the outdoors – to be on our boat or out camping. My husband and son love to fish. I like to garden and in particular to grow flowers. I grew up on a farm so anything yard work I like to do. I also like to bowl and to spend time with my kids and grandson.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?

A: Don’t hold onto anger or bitterness. If something is upsetting it’s important to figure out what can be done to make it better and then to pursue the solution. After doing what you can its best to just move forward and let things go. The older you get, the more you realize that your time is really precious, and you just don’t want to waste time on negativity.

Q: If you retired today, what would you do next?

A: My father loved adventure and my mother was always ready to join him. My father was a wheat farmer. I remember my father used to talk about joining the Peace Corps to help out and farm in Third World countries. It never came to be but it always stayed in the back of my mind and I have read stories of retired people joining the Peace Corps. So maybe the Peace Corps!

Q: How do handle stress?

A: I like to walk – that is my biggest stress reliever. When I take time to walk around, listen to the birds – it clears my mind and I come back a different person.

New DB Training Available!

Video training is now available specifically for ASC’s Defined Benefit users, following in the footsteps of the 401k, 5500 and compliance training series.

The DB video series is useful for new and experienced users alike. Experienced DB users will benefit from seeing the additional features recently programmed into the system and learning new pointers and tricks from the ASC Actuarial Team which simplify DB work. For new hires, the videos serve as a valuable training resource without requiring hours of formal in-house training. The videos also bring to life the DB manuals, which continue to be available as will live ASC Actuarial Support!

The topics range from general navigation to plan specifications coding to DC/DB compliance to participant statements. The Actuarial Team is working on additional videos to complete the series and those will be available in early 2014.

The DB videos are available by logging into the Client Support Center and selecting the Training tab. After clicking the Defined Benefit Training Series box, you’ll be taken to a brief instruction screen after which you can launch the series.

If there are additional topics of interest to you, submit your suggestion to ASC Support and indicate that your suggestion is for the DB Video Training series.

Don’t Miss the Free CATTS Demo December 18th

All your tasks & data in one organized place!See how your office can increase organization and efficiency by using ASC’s Client & Task Tracking System (CATTS). Designed with you, the TPA, in mind, CATTS is a web-based tool for all your workflow tracking and client data management. Join our free demo Dec 18th – sign-up today!